Made in a dental lab, a custom dental crown restores strength and integrity to a tooth with extensive decay or other structural problems, like a crack or deep chip. Unlike a filling, which fits into a cavity (hole) in a tooth, a dental crown completely covers the portion of a tooth that extends above the gum line. In essence, it is a protective covering.
A crown can be made with all porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, all metal, or zirconia. (Zirconia is a high-strength ceramic material sometimes called “ceramic steel.”) For front teeth, our cosmetic dentists prefer to place all porcelain crowns. Back teeth, however, endure intense pressure that could fracture an all-porcelain crown. Porcelain fused to metal is considerably stronger than all porcelain, and that is what is usually used. All metal or zirconia are other options for back teeth.
Expect to attend two visits if you need a crown. At the first appointment, the doctor will prepare your tooth, take an impression, and place a temporary crown. The impression will be sent to a dental laboratory that will make your crown and send it back to our office. Your second visit will involve replacing the temporary with the final crown and then assessing your bite (occlusion) to ensure proper function and comfort.
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